Pets

Prescription eye drops

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 3rd, 2017 9:28 am
[OP]
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Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
438 upvotes

Prescription eye drops

Does anyone else have to apply 2 types of prescription eye drops twice a day, plus OTC eye gel 3 times a day to their dog's eyes?

The meds in question are Cyclosporin 2% oil and Maxidex. The eye gel is Systane (in the tube - not the bottle).

The Cyclosporin comes in a 10 ml bottle - we just made it through the month before his checkup with the specialist on Monday. Maxidex was then added. There is no way a 5 ml bottle will last a month (my husband uses prescription eye drops - he needs 2 five ml bottles a month). Fortunately the Maxidex does not have to be specially compounded whereas the Cyclosporin does. Our primary vet can order the Maxidex for us since the eye specialist only had the one bottle left.

He is a 13 year old white dog who did not have any eye stains, well now he has them - but it is what it is. I do wipe his eyes with special lint free cotton prior to application of his drops. How I wish the drops came in edible form - an oxymoron I know. He took drops a few years ago to combat a corneal ulcer that became a corneal abscess but they did not cause staining. He looks a mess! But he can be groomed - however the groomer has to put the eye gel in first. Our vet clinic is in front of the groomers so that helps.

Any tips for application? In particular for not missing his eyes? I have looked at you tube videos. Forget it. I even bought him a small muzzle - forget it. Mommy putting a muzzle on him vs. the eye specialist are 2 different things. Fortunately he is good with the vet. My husband is obviously good at eye drop application, but our dog does turn his head. I personally am allergic to eye drops and dread having to administer them. We have to go back to the eye specialist in another month. I fear running out.
6 replies
Deal Addict
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Apr 7, 2012
2346 posts
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Toronto
The faster you can move, the better.
Using your legs/knees to lock him/his head into place works well
Sr. Member
Apr 25, 2011
644 posts
223 upvotes
British Columbia
Cyclosporin is the generic name of a few brands, one is Optimmune. You could get that from a vet clinic instead of compounding it. No idea if it would be a cost savings though; probably not. Maxidex and all the other eye drops and ointments mostly only come in the small 5ml bottles unfortunately.

Giving eye drops is difficult in some cases even with otherwise easygoing dogs... the YouTube videos have probably shown you all the best techniques. The only suggestion I have is to try and make it fun; use an excited voice and offer treats immediately after application, incorporate it into a game.

Also, while it may be too late in this case, if you establish yourself as the one in charge then a dog is much more likely to go along with what you are doing to them. If you have set the prior groundwork for the dog feeling that it is the one that dictates then you're more often to have the dog objecting when they don't like something you are doing to them. In my house it's all fun and games with my family members until they actually want the dogs to do something that they don't want to (...like come when called or trying to dry their feet etc.) -- unfortunately this attudtide has lead to me being the only one the dogs calmly obey.
Last edited by Karala on Mar 2nd, 2017 5:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Nov 15, 2008
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Ride him like a pony and get him in position so you're kneeling and using your thighs to hold his body between them, then grip the underside of his snout and lift his chin up gently with one hand until you are face to face. Drop away.

Finish 5 minutes later with a damp face wipe (i.e., those makeup remover kinds) to grab what dripped out and prevent stains. My dog buddies really liked these...best part, for them. When I came at them with these cloths they didn't even flinch. They seemed to enjoy the pampering (or smelling like me, the alpha? lol) They would line up for the face wipes treatment.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
438 upvotes
MrsPotato wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2017 2:53 pm
The faster you can move, the better.
Using your legs/knees to lock him/his head into place works well
I like this idea! We are moving fast - but of course have to allow a minimum of 5 minutes between the drops. He is now seriously objecting to the Maxidex and runs. But we are persevering. Thanks very much.
[OP]
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Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
438 upvotes
Karala, In Ontario (at least) Cyclosporin 2% oil has to be specially compounded. The pet eye specialist does keep some in stock because she prescribes it often and we have been lucky so far in that she has had it. Our primary vet has to order it and it has to be custom compounded by Haber's (I think that is the name of the pet pharmacy). As you will know Cyclosporin comes in various strengths. I know that some people want to go back to a lower % than the 2% because their dogs accepted it better, but what can you do? Cost for the 10 ml bottle is $54.60, before tax. Some Optimmune products are carried by our regular vet but not the 2% oil.

But I did confirm with the eye specialist that due to his condition the drops will burn a bit. He is a prima donna, no doubt about it. But he has had a rough year - first with the arthritis (and the Cartrophen shots), then the diagnosis of having a low thyroid (no meds yet) and now the issues with his eyes. All of a sudden he is looking much older.

Our primary vet has ordered and received a second bottle of the Maxidex so at least that is on hold for us. Cost for the 5ml bottle (before tax) is $27.30. So basically the same as the Cyclosporin. The eye specialist has forwarded his follow-up paperwork to them so there are no issues there, thankfully, in terms of prescription refills.

In terms of being the alpha, our dog will listen more to me than to my husband, but he does not like the eye drops. And he is getting a massive hit every day. Unfortunately, if the eye drops came in an oral format then we could make a game of it, but not with his eyes - he isn't having it. He takes them better than a lot of dogs so I am told (and fortunately while he cries somewhat at the eye specialist's office, he is quite well behaved for an Eskie according to the 4 people who see him). That said, he did take this morning's eye drops well, but then who knows by the time he has his OTC gel a few times and it is time for his evening prescription drops he might be running away. When he had to have drops a few years ago they were just in the one eye. He does like it better when he and my husband take their 2 eye drops together. Misery loves company, I guess.

We have been giving him a few crunchies to focus his attention away from the drops. Unfortunately he is now suspicious of getting extra crunchies. Of course for a dog who is the most motivated any vet has ever seen when it comes to food, he doesn't let being suspicious get in the way of having extra food.

Thanks very much for your help. He is being groomed tomorrow - he is a mess. I did ask the eye specialist and she said it would be fine, but to put the OTC gel in first. As awful as it sounds I am happy that the groomer (or the vet tech at the front of the groomer's) will be applying the gel - one less application for us. His Keeshond friend has full body allergies and a ton of oral meds to take. Lost a lot of her fur - it has now grown back but is sort of like a beautifully coloured fuzzy pup fur. She is also 13 and it happened suddenly. Things could be worse I know. We used to have Dachshunds (and the surgeries) - so I have seen a lot worse. But still, we hate to see our pets suffering.

Back we go at the end of the month. I hope the double does of prescription eye drops does the trick. If not, a stronger steroid will be prescribed (the type that can cause liver issues). I did ask if he would go blind and I was told "not from this". He does not have PRA but that didn't stop me from researching blind dogs.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
2952 posts
438 upvotes
Thanks, lecale. You and Mrs. Potato have the same idea. The stuff I read on-line kept suggesting that we lay his body on a flat surface (as if he would allow that and stay there while we got the drops ready). My husband will try that method on the next round.

Re the wipes, I have tried using the best cotton wipes I could find. He sits beautifully while I wipe his eyes, but unfortunately it does not help with the staining at all.

The dosage sheet indicates we should wipe his eyes before his meds and I tried that - as well as trying after, but to no affect. The eye specialist did notice the tear stains, particularly since she has been seeing him for a few years now (although for the past 3 years it has been only yearly instead of the current monthly) and said that the culprit was most likely the Cyclosporin. I will not use Angel tears etc. or any of the other products out there that are supposed to help clear eye stains. Some people put a thin layer of diaper rash cream under the eyes to help prevent staining when applying meds - but I could see it now, diaper rash cream in his eyes since creams tend to migrate upwards. I have facial and ocular rosacea (good old Irish genes) and eye products especially are very difficult for me.

So tonight we will see what happens when we follow your advice and that of MrsPotato - he will either accept it or he will wonder what the heck is going on and take off. He is a very strong 25 lb. dog who can move and pivot very fast.

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